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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Aug 8, 2008 6:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Killing Time In The Crystal City Lyrics...(Non Dead)

well, i only have a live version of this song, and it's not exactly the easiest song to pull the lyrics from; i think the 2nd line of the 1st stanza is "Watch My Rooster Run"

the version i have does not have the 4th stanza, so i cannot help with the questionable line you are asking about there

as for the last stanza, damn if i can figure those 2 lines out, but i come up with something quite close to what you have:

I'd Like To Line Them Bastards
Up Against The Wall
When That Spirit Moves Me
Child I See Them Fall
In That Place Of Lies
My Old Friends Wait To Die
With Their Sick Trips Walking
Sickness Break Inside
Well I'm Gone

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Aug 8, 2008 6:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Killing Time In The Crystal City Lyrics...(Non Dead)

Thanks Arb, it's definitely a challenge to make out a lot of the lyrics, but I think we've come real close.Thanks for your help!

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Poster: Society's Pliers Date: Aug 22, 2008 3:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Killing Time In The Crystal City Lyrics...(Non Dead)

First, I'm new and my name shoud read as "Society's Pliers, but I guess I have to edit it to post right.

Now, I've got a couple dozen versions of this song, some are 1st generation copies of Jorma's soundboards from the 80s - I have never really understood the end of the last verse. On one of Jorma's instructional videos he mentions just ad libbing many of those lyrics as he wrote the song just to fuel his new blues jam, so I always wonder if it's really kinda gibberish. I mostly mumble the end on the rare occasion I play it at my gigs.

From many tapes and many live performances (including resting my arms on the satge as he sat in chairs and played - incredible sound - I've NEVER heard him sing the end clearly.

This is the best I came up with from one soundboard, and it's VERY close to yours (Remember, Jorma asserts that it started as just words thrown together with no real meaning. And I also like that the title can be taken two ways, depending on which word yo accent: 'Killing TIME' vs. 'KILLING time):

Killing Time In The Crystal City

Well, well, I'm gone downtown,
Watch my rooster run
I said, that hen don't cry
'Cept when that cock don't come
Now, on that corner
When the light turned green
I seen the strangest sight,
Now, Baby, I ever seen
And I'm gone . . .
Gone . . .
Gone way down

Well, that bus ran by
See them feathers fly
And the rain come falling
From a clear blue sky
On that sidewalk
When that rain turned red
They took my hen and rooster
And cut off their heads
Now I'm gone . . .
Gone . . .
Gone way down

Well, well them people cried
It did not do no good
Hearts was made of stone
Eyes was made of wood
Them killers ran
'Til the break of day
In the Crystal City
Life goes on that way
And I’m gone . . .
Gone . . .
Gone . . .
Gone way down

Well, seven days have passed
Since the Time stood still
Now my hen and rooster
Buried on the Hill
Lord, I cried my eyes
With thoughts of running free
Then I drowned my sorrows
In the deep blue sea
And I’m gone . . .
Gone . . .
Gone . . .
Gone way down

Well living way downtown
Feel like breaking glass
I got time to burn
While folks is eating trash
Well, now, way back home
Folks don't know my name (this varies from time to time)
In the Crystal City
Life's a waiting game
Well, yeah, I'm gone . . .
Gone . . .
Gone . . .
Gone way down

I'd like to line them bastards
Up against the wall
When the Spirit moves me,
God, I'll see them fall
In that place of lies
My old friends wait to Die
With their sick trips walking
Their just breathing sighs (sometimes it sounds like "their bleeding sides")
And still, I'm gone . . .
Gone . . .
Gone . . .
Gone way down